Despite nearly doubling its AI spending in the past year, experts contend that the fund management industry is still lagging far behind other sectors in deriving benefits from AI technologies.

Emily Horton filed this report for

Speakers at Financial News’s Artificial Intelligence and Asset Managers Breakfast Briefing on July 10 were frank about the catch-up job the sector needs to do.

Graham Kellen, chief digital officer at Schroders, said: “I worked in epidemiology back in 1995 and we were using techniques that would be rocket science in asset management.”

“I don’t think there has been a lot of innovation in our sector. I think we are way behind and we should wake up to that fact,” said Olivia Vinden, fintech and innovation leader at consultancy Alpha FMC, during a discussion on how portfolio managers are using data-driven technology to spot the next big investment opportunity.

“The banking sector is a little bit ahead only because it’s been forced kicking and screaming by [EU directive] PSD 2, but I don’t think they are a leading light… I really think we have to look outside our industry to see innovation,” she said.

According to Vinden, asset managers have been borrowing techniques from sports coaching and applying behavioural analytics to active fund management, which has improved stock pickers’ performance.